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Anyway Anyhow Anywhere - the Who

It's hard to describe the new energy that the London r&b mod groups brought to pop music in the mid sixties. It seemed that no-one had ever heard such explosions of energy before bands like the Kinks and the Pretty Things. None more so than the early Who whose first two hits, "I Can't Explain" and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" were quintessences of compacted energy. While the former articulates the inarticulateness of youth and growing up, the second is its scathing reply, the confident, swaggering assertion of a young man who knows where he's going and won't let anyone or thing stop him. The same could be said of the group's powerhouse performance, particularly the scorching drumming of the extraordinary Keith Moon. Listen to the track again, just following the drumming. Listen to his attack, the way he slips in supercharged drumroll after drumroll, the way he bounces off Nicky Hopkins' piano and Townsend's echoing chunky chords in the glorious instrumental section, exploding intermittently like a firework factory in an air raid.

The sheer bravado of youth infects the music from first note to last, so much so that we almost don't notice the words. Which are saying exactly the same thing as the instruments, particularly those drums.

I can do anything, right or wrong I can talk anyhow to get along I don't care anyway, I never lose anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose. Nothing gets in my way, not even locked doors I don't follow the lines that've been laid before I get along anyway I dare anyway anyhow anywhere.

And in Keith Moon's case, dead at the age of 32 from a drug overdose, the final verse stands along with his drumming as a defiant shout at the world: I could go anyway, the way I choose I could live anyhow, win or lose I can do anything for something new anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose

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